This Week’s Awesome Tech Stories From Around the Web (Through September 5)


Did You Fly a Jetpack Over Los Angeles This Weekend? Because the FBI Is Looking for You
Tom McKay | Gizmodo
“Did you fly a jetpack over Los Angeles at approximately 3,000 feet on Sunday? Some kind of tiny helicopter? Maybe a lawn chair with balloons tied to it? If the answer to any of the above questions is ‘yes,’ you should probably lay low for a while (by which I mean cool it on the single-occupant flying machine). That’s because passing airline pilots spotted you, and now it’s this whole thing with the FBI and the Federal Aviation Administration, both of which are investigating.”


Digital Pregnancy Tests Are Almost as Powerful as the Original IBM PC
Tom Warren | The Verge
“Each test, which costs less than $5, includes a processor, RAM, a button cell battery, and a tiny LCD screen to display the result. …Foone speculates that this device is ‘probably faster at number crunching and basic I/O than the CPU used in the original IBM PC.’ IBM’s original PC was based on Intel’s 8088 microprocessor, an 8-bit chip that operated at 5Mhz. The difference here is that this is a pregnancy test you pee on and then throw away.”


Human Embryo Gene Editing Gets a Road Map—Not a Green Light
Megan Molteni | Wired
“[The new 225-page National Academy of Sciences report] describes in great detail the types and quality of evidence that scientists must provide to show they’ve correctly edited an embryo, before they can attempt to try it out in humans. It is, in essence, a road map for how to safely and responsibly get to clinical trials. But importantly, say the report’s authors, it’s not an endorsement.”


Are Radioactive Diamond Batteries a Cure for Nuclear Waste?
Daniel Oberhaus | Wired
“If the nuclear battery was once a fringe technology, it seems poised to break into the mainstream. We don’t necessarily need—or want—all of our electronics to last for thousands of years. But when we do, we’ll have a battery that keeps going and going … and going and going and going.”


Yes to Tech Optimism. And Pessimism.
Shira Ovide | The New York Times
“Technology is not something that exists in a bubble; it is a phenomenon that changes how we live or how our world works in ways that help and hurt. That calls for more humility and bridges across the optimism-pessimism divide from people who make technology, those of us who write about it, government officials and the public. We need to think on the bright side. And we need to consider the horribles.”


The Internet Is an Amnesia Machine
Simon Pitt | OneZero
“There was a time when I didn’t know what a Baby Yoda was. Then there was a time I couldn’t go online without reading about Baby Yoda. And now, Baby Yoda is a distant, shrugging memory. Soon there will be a generation of people who missed the whole thing and for whom Baby Yoda is as meaningless as it was for me a year ago.”


Gravity, Gizmos, and a Grand Theory of Interstellar Travel
Daniel Oberhaus | Wired
“Ask Woodward and he’ll tell you his gizmo has merely tapped into the fabric of the universe and hitched a ride on gravity itself. Sound impossible? A lot of theoretical physicists think so too. …But in June, after two decades of halting progress, Woodward and Fearn made a minor change to the configuration of the thruster. Suddenly, the MEGA drive leapt to life.”


These Black Holes Shouldn’t Exist, but There They Are
Dennis Overbye | The New York Times
“One black hole with 85 times the mass of the sun, and a second with 66 solar masses, smashed together, creating a black hole 142 times as massive as the sun. Another eight or so suns’ worth of mass and energy disappeared into gravitational waves, ripples of the space-time fabric, in a split-second of cosmic frenzy, ringing the universe like a bell on the morning of May 21, 2019.”

Image credit: Dustin HumesUnsplash

Singularity Hub Staff
Singularity Hub Staff
Singularity Hub chronicles technological progress by highlighting the breakthroughs and issues shaping the future as well as supporting a global community of smart, passionate, action-oriented people who want to change the world.
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